Carnival Vista Destroys Smaller Vessels and Pier As It Leaves Messina, Italy. Our Cruise Ship Attorney Wonders if Poor Engineering Is to Blame?

Lipcon, Marguiles, Alsina & Winkleman, P.A

Two boats at the harbor of MessinaWhen booking your cruise, you have seemingly limitless options. From destination to excursions and everything in between, there is no end to the amount of choices you will be making. And, as a result, it feels as though there is no limit to the potential fun that lies ahead!

Whether you are traveling with your family, friends, or just a significant other, you can rest assured that you will be in for an enjoyable vacation. After all, a cruise offers the best of all worlds for all passengers! So you’re practically guaranteed to walk away with fond memories.

However, as a maritime law firm with over 40 years of experience, we can safely say that it’s always better to expect the unexpected. Despite your careful planning and best intentions, there’s no telling when things might take a turn.

A recent story out of Italy reminds us just how unexpected cruise experiences can be.

On Friday, September 2nd, 2016, a Carnival cruise ship in Italy destroyed a pier and sunk a number of smaller vessels as it made its way to the open water.

The ship, Carnival Vista, had just embarked on its journey from Messina, Sicily, when waves from its thrusters became so intense that they caused the pier to fall into the water and smaller, docked boats to topple over.

Video footage reveals the strength of the waves, which have no difficulty sending boats and their docks crashing into each other. Although no one was injured, there was incredible damage done that will need to be repaired, presumably before it is safe for other ships to be docked or received.

Could This Be Prevented?

In the wake of this accident, we cannot help but to wonder: How could Carnival address this situation so it does not happen again in the future?

The destruction caused by Carnival Vista will surely be an unhappy expense for the company and one that they will want to avoid in the future. Additionally, while no one was harmed this time, there is no guarantee that other boaters might not be injured or worse if a situation like this was to happen in a different port. So there are multiple reasons why Carnival should take this destruction very seriously.

We cannot help but to wonder if the Vista, the newest ship in Carnival’s fleet, was built differently than the others? After all, Carnival cruise ships leave ports around the world every day, most without leaving a path of destruction behind them. So it seems that the issue may be with this specific vessel.

If that is the case, we hope that the cruise line will look into this issue immediately. While we understand the need to engineer ships that will move through the water as efficiently as possible, there comes a point when the wake that is produced may be too much for a port to handle—as we saw here. Thus, it may be time to re-evaluate efficiency and instead pay more attention to safety.

While passenger safety is of the utmost importance, we cannot ignore the safety of all those impacted by a cruise ship’s arrival and departure. And we know that not all cruise trips have a happy ending.

So if you have been injured aboard a cruise, whether in Italy or around the world, and believe that a maritime lawyer may be able to help, you have come to the right place. Contact us to schedule a consultation. We would be glad to listen to your case and help you evaluate your best next step.